Pace Career Academy takes attendance very seriously and will enforce and comply with the NH law relative to attendance RSA 193.1 Duty of Parent: Compulsory Attendance by Pupil and the NH law relative to truancy: NH RSA 189 (189:34 Appointment, NH RSA 189:35 Truancy Defined and NH RSA
Students are required to be in school every day that school is in session unless their attendance is exempt per NH law or their absence meets criteria to be considered an excused absence. Unexcused absences are not acceptable. The District will address habitual unexcused absences consistent with the NH laws which include the filing of truancy with the Court.
NH Attendance Law:
193:1 Duty of Parent; Compulsory Attendance by Pupil.
I. A parent of any child at least 6 years of age and under 18 years of age shall cause such child to attend the public school to which the child is assigned in the child’s resident district. Such child shall attend full time when such school is in session unless:
(a) The child is attending a New Hampshire public school outside the district to which the child is assigned or an approved New Hampshire private school for the same time;
(b) The child is receiving home education pursuant to RSA 193-A and is therefore exempt from this requirement;
(c) The relevant school district superintendent has excused a child from attendance because the child is physically or mentally unable to attend school, or has been temporarily excused upon the request of the parent for purposes agreed upon by the school authorities and the parent. Such excused absences shall not be permitted if they cause a serious adverse effect upon the student’s educational progress. Students excused for such temporary absences may be claimed as full-time pupils for purposes of calculating state aid under RSA 186-C:18 and adequate education grants under RSA 198:41;
(d) The child is attending a public or private school located in another state which has been approved by the state education agency of the state in which the school is located;
(e) The pupil has been exempted from attendance pursuant to RSA 193:5;
(f) The pupil has successfully completed all requirements for graduation and the school district is prepared to issue a diploma or the pupil has successfully achieved the equivalent of a high school diploma by either:
(1) Obtaining a GED certificate; or
(2) Documenting the completion of a home school program at the high school level by submitting a certificate or letter to the department of education;
(g) The pupil has been accepted into an accredited postsecondary education program; or
(h) The pupil obtains a waiver from the superintendent, which shall only be granted upon proof that the pupil is 16 years of age or older and has an alternative learning plan for obtaining either a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(1) Alternative learning plans shall include age-appropriate academic rigor and the flexibility to incorporate the pupil’s interests and manner of learning. These plans may include, but are not limited to, such components or combination of components of extended learning opportunities as independent study, private instruction, performing groups, internships, community service, apprenticeships, and on-line courses.
(2) Alternative learning plans shall be developed, and amended if necessary, in consultation with the pupil, a school guidance counselor, the school principal and at least one parent or guardian of the pupil, and submitted to the school district superintendent for approval.
(3) If the Superintendent does not approve the alternative learning plan, the parent or guardian of the pupil may appeal such decision to the local school board. A parent or guardian may appeal the decision of the local school board to the state board of education consistent with the provisions of RSA 21-N:11, III.
II. A child who reaches the sixth birthday after September 30 shall not be required to attend school under the provisions of this section until the following school year.
III. In this section, “”parent” means a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody of a child.
NH Truancy Law:
I. School boards shall appoint truant officers for their districts.
II. School board policies on truancy shall include but not be limited to:
(a) A definition of “excused absence” and a process for considering exceptions to absences not otherwise excused.
(b) A process for intervention designed to address individual cases of truancy as quickly as possible and to reduce the number of habitual truants in the school district. The board shall provide for the participation of parents in the development of the policy. The policy shall include early parental involvement in the intervention process. The policy shall also designate an employee in each school as the person responsible for truancy issues.
189:35-a Truancy Defined.
I. For the purposes of this subdivision, “truancy” means an unexcused absence from school or class and “unexcused absence” is an absence which has not been excused in accordance with RSA 189:34, II(a).
II. Ten half days of unexcused absence during a school year shall constitute habitual truancy.
III. A school district shall define the term “half day of absence.’‘ Pace Career Academy defines a half day of school to be 1 and a half hour of a 3 hour school day.
IV. Nothing in this section shall affect or limit a school district’s power to adopt bylaws concerning truancy pursuant to RSA 193:16.
V. Nothing in this section shall affect or limit the duties of a parent pursuant to RSA 193:1.
VI. School district attendance records shall be presumed to be true and accurate unless evidence to the contrary is presented.
I. Truant officers shall, when directed by the school board, enforce the laws and regulations relating to truants and children between the ages of 6 and 18 years not attending school or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I(h); and the laws relating to the attendance at school of children between the ages of 6 and 18 years; and shall have authority without a warrant to take and place in school any children found employed contrary to the laws relating to the employment of children, or violating the laws relating to the compulsory attendance at school of children under the age of 18 years, and the laws relating to child labor. No home school pupil nor any person between the ages of6 and 18 who meets any of the requirements of RSA 193:1, I(c)-(h) shall be deemed a truant.
II. A truant officer or school official shall not file a petition alleging that the child is in need of services pursuant to RSA 169-D:2, II(a) until all steps in the school district’s intervention process under RSA 189:34, II have been followed.
School Approval Standard
Ed 306.18 C (6) A school half-day shall consist of at least 1.5 hours of instructional time, and 2 school half-days can be counted as a regular school day.
Absences not defined as excused, are considered unexcused. Excessive unexcused absences shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is a pattern of non-attendance. Examples of unexcused absences include but are not limited to:
1. Absences as a result of incomplete immunization records;
2. Family vacations outside of established school calendar;
3. Non-medical appointments unauthorized by Administration;
5. Leaving school grounds without permission during normal school hours, and;
6. Absences determined by the Principal or his/her designee to be unexcused for any other reason not listed above.
Students must be in school unless the absence has been permitted or excused for one of the reasons listed below which may require documentation. Excessive excused absences shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is a pattern of non-attendance. Examples of excused absences include but are not limited to:
1. School-sponsored activities with administrative approval;
2. Classes missed due to Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 Plan;
3. Extreme weather conditions as determined by the Administration;
4. Illness of student or illness of an immediate family member;
5. Death in the family;
6. Religious holidays of the student’s own faith;
7. Required court appearance or subpoena;
8. Scheduled medical/dental appointments if such cannot be scheduled outside of normal school hours;
9. College visitations as approved by Administration;
10. Chronic illness verified by a physician’s note;
11. Students suspended externally; these students are entitled to make-up work, and;
12. The Director or his/her designee shall determine if an absence is excused for any other reason not listed above.
C. Unexcused Tardiness
Tardiness is defined as a student not being in the classroom when the class is scheduled to begin.
1. Excessive tardiness shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is a pattern of non-attendance.
2. Tardiness to class without documentation shall be considered unexcused. Every third unexcused tardy shall constitute a one full-day unexcused absence.
3. Principals and his/her designee shall have the discretion to excuse tardiness for extenuating circumstances.
Dismissal is defined as removal from school prior to the conclusion of the school day.
1. Excessive dismissal shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is a pattern of non-attendance.
2. Dismissal from class without documentation shall be considered unexcused. Every third unexcused dismissal from class shall constitute a one full-day unexcused absence from that class.
3. The Director and his/her designee shall have the discretion to excuse dismissals for extenuating circumstances.
E. Make-Up Work
When students are absent, including absences for external suspension or expulsion, an opportunity to make-up work shall be provided. Students and parents are encouraged to obtain make-up work assignments before the student’s return to school by contacting the classroom teacher.
F. Attendance Plan
A viable Attendance Policy needs a corresponding Attendance Plan in order to achieve improved attendance rates. Attendance Plans shall provide appropriate interventions for students and their families and ensure communication between and with students, parents/guardians, representatives from social service agencies working with the student and family and school staff. It is highly desirable to establish this communication prior to disciplinary measures or withdrawal/suspension actions by the school. Attendance Plans shall provide proactive interventions that will benefit students. The Attendance Plan shall include, in addition to proactive interventions to benefit the student, the consequences if the interventions fail to improve attendance issues. Such consequences may include, but not be limited to referral to the Attendance Officer, the Department of Health and Human Services and or loss of course credit.
Meetings to develop Attendance Plans shall be convened by the administrator or his/her designee with the parent, student and appropriate youth serving agencies that are involved with the student immediately following a student’s third (3rd) full-day unexcused absence from school.